PLANTS, MUSHROOMS AND BIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

PLANTS, MUSHROOMS AND BIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

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iten
Code
105333
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
2 credits during the 3nd year of 8762 Biological Sciences (L-13) GENOVA

2 credits during the 2nd year of 9916 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES (L-32) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/03
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Biological Sciences)
semester
1° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

AIMS AND CONTENT

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

This module will provide the students with the general knowledge about forensic botany and mycology and their application in crime investigation and in the answering to other legal issues. The most important poisoned planst and toxic fungi will be illustrated in addition to the plants used for drug production and hallucinogenic fungi. Case studies, where botanic and mycological evidence have been used will be presented. Collection and Identification methods of specimens of forensic interest will also be presented.

 

At the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate:

a) A general knowledge of the principles of forensic botany and mycology

b) A general knowledge about the role of plants and fungi as sources of toxic and psychoactive substances;

c) A general understanding about the role of plants and fungi in alimentary frauds and in food contamination;

d) A general understanding of the role of fungi in the cadaver decomposition processes;

e) A general understanding of the use of plants and fungi (eg.: plant fragments in the gut content, roots, pollens, spores, hyphae, etc.) in PMI and body transfer estimation.

 

At the end of the lectures, students will be able to:

a) Select the best sampling methods for botanic and mycological evidence depending on the different forensic scenarios;

b) Identify the most important poisoning plants, the illegal drugs produced from plants, the most important toxic and hallucinogenic fungi;

c) Identify the most important botanic and mycological evidence useful in a forensic context;

d) Identify the most important mycological taxa involved in the decomposition process. 

Teaching methods

The module teaching is based on lectures and work group. Attendance to lectures and practical group activities is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
Lectures are delivered with multimedia supports.
During the first term, lectures will be potentially delivered in presence, however online attendance will be guaranteed with synchronous or asynchronous registration. Practicals will be delivered in presence. In case of a big class it will be slit in smaller groups. 
All the in-presence activities will be delivered according to the university and national rules related with the COVID-19 emergency.
Because of the current COVID-19 emergency, students are invited to check regularly the module website (AulaWeb ) to be updated on any teaching variation.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The module is built up of  two components: Forensic Botany and Forensic Mycology


Forensic Botany
A brief historical introduction to Forensic Botany and its application in the legal disputes. Case studies and examples: kidnapping, murder, war crime and frauds.
Botanical traces useful in the forensic context (pollens, seeds, fragments, etc.)
Methods, techniques and case studies
Toxic plants for humans and animals
Classic drug and new psychoactive substances of botanic origin.                                   

Forensic Mycology
Forensic mycology: definition and fields of applicability. Case studies
Fungi and thanotochronology: case studies
Fungi involved in decomposition, biodeterioration and biodegradation          

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

The teaching material will be available on Aulaweb as .pdf files
Suggested books are available in the library or for consultation in the lecturer office:
-Forensic Botany - Practical Guide. D.W. Hall & J.H. Byrd eds. WILEY-Blackwell, 2012
-Forensic Botany. Principles and Applications to Criminal Casework. Edited by Heather Miller Coyle. CRC Press 2005.
-Gunn A. Essential Forensic Biology  2019, 3rd edition, Willey

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Fixed upon request by e-mail (cornara@dipteris.unige.it)

Ricevimento: Students are received after booking an appointment by telephone or e-mail.

Exam Board

STEFANO VANIN (President)

MIRCA ZOTTI

LAURA CORNARA (President Substitute)

SIMONE DI PIAZZA (Substitute)

GRAZIA CECCHI (Substitute)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The module teaching is based on lectures and work group. Attendance to lectures and practical group activities is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
Lectures are delivered with multimedia supports.
During the first term, lectures will be potentially delivered in presence, however online attendance will be guaranteed with synchronous or asynchronous registration. Practicals will be delivered in presence. In case of a big class it will be slit in smaller groups. 
All the in-presence activities will be delivered according to the university and national rules related with the COVID-19 emergency.
Because of the current COVID-19 emergency, students are invited to check regularly the module website (AulaWeb ) to be updated on any teaching variation.

ORARI

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile su EasyAcademy.

Vedi anche:

PLANTS, MUSHROOMS AND BIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

EXAMS

Exam description

Student will sit to two assesments (one per each CFU)

Assessment methods

Details about the assesments and the evaluation process will be explained by the lectureres during the teaching period. The two assesments woud be written exams, test or oral examinations. Oral examinations  will allow the lecturer to verify  the ability of the students to present in a clear, critical and professional way the theoretical components of the different components of the module.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
15/06/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
29/06/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/07/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
03/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Attendance to the lectures and other activities is strongly suggested.